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Commerce Reauthorizes CPB

The Senate Commerce Committee Thursday passed a bill designed to authorize funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through fiscal-year 2011.

The authorization bills spell out and makes changes to the permitted activities of federally funded programs. CPB has not been reauthorized since 1992.

The bill gives CPB explicit authority to award grants for the production and acquisition of local programming and allows stations to use CPB funds supporting the digital transition to produce local digital programming.

It also allows funding for services public broadcasters provide on their web sites and through digital multicasting.

Finally, CPB would be allowed to recoup some federal funds provided to a public broadcast station if the broadcaster sells the station to a buyer that does not offer public broadcasting services.